SLRP: XIV. Reasons For Withdrawing (Part 2: 9 – 18)


“Sometimes a vessel perishes in harbour; but what do you think happens on the open sea? And how much more beset with danger that man would be, who even in his leisure is not secure, if he were busily working at many things!”

Ah, dear Seneca, a ship may be safer in the harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.

I do have to say, I quite like the phrase “thinking-shop” I may have to make use of that, if you’ll permit the borrowing.

“One must therefore take refuge in philosophy; this pursuit, not only in the eyes of good men, but also in the eyes of those who are even moderately bad, is a sort of protecting emblem.”

For much of the West today, this has changed, I’m sorry to report.  Philosophers are seen as academics indulging in intellectual masturbation at best, or at worst is a waste of time.  It’s quite sad.

Possibly, this is due to the fact that there are very few people “doing” philosophy.  “Philosophy as a way of life” is enjoying a very mild upswing, nominally, at least.

I do heartily agree that the desires of the mob are something we should be wary of.  I’m not sure it’s within our power to not excite the greed or hostility in others, but it is fair to say we should live modestly.  Yet, we should most definetly avoid the toxins of hate, greed, and scorn.

My interest in the ascetic regimen of Musonius is kicking back up, so we’ll see how that goes over the next few weeks and months.  I’ll report back, if you’re interested.


Part of Michel Daw’s Reading Plan of Seneca’s Letters.

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